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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 15(1); 2004 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2004;15(1): 36-46.
Study of the Appropriateness of 11 9 Rescue Usage
Hyun A Bae, Ji Yeong Ryu, Eun Kyung Eo, Koo Young Jung
1Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Korea. kyjung@ewha.ac.kr
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Korea.
In order to elicit efficient and effective operation of the Korean Emergency Medical Service System, we observed patients brought in by way of the Emergency Center by 119 ambulances and analyzed the appropriateness of the transport and the level of emergency care provided.
For the month of August 2002, patients who visited a university hospital emergency unit in Seoul were separated and evaluated according to the study protocols. The appropriateness of the 119 transport was based on a patient questionnaire and an evaluation of medical records and was categorized as follows; 1) need for emergency care or urgency/emergency transport by 119 ambulance, 2) need for emergency care or urgency/emergency transport by non 119 ambulance, 3) no need for emergency care or subemergency/nonemergency transport by 119 ambulance, 4) no needs for emergency care or subemergency/ nonemergency transport by non 119 ambulance. Of these, category 1 is viewed as the appropriate level of transport to the hospital emergency unit by 119 rescuers whereas category 3 is considered inappropriate transportation by 119 rescuers. The analysis of the appropriateness of the level of emergency care was based on sorting patients into 5 service categories; 1) emergency care required - appropriate operation, 2) emergency care required - no operation, 3)emergency care required - inappropriate operation, 4) no emergency care required - operation, 5) no emergency care required - no operation. Within these, categories 1 and 5 are considered appropriate and categories 2, 3 and 4 as inappropriate.
Over the course of the study, 1,376 out of 1,451 patients transported to the hospital emergency unit qualified to be included under study protocols. Among them, the proportion of patients who needed emergency care or urgency/emergency transport was 22.8% (314 patients), and the proportion of those who received appropriate transport by the 119 emergency team was 62.6% (196 patients). Among the 282 patients who were transported by 119 emergency teams, in 195 patients (69.1%), emergency care was indicated while only 81 of the 195 patients (41.5%) received operations with an emergency or critical level of care. Of these 81, 47 patients (58.0%) received the appropriate operation. Therefore, the overall appropriateness of emergency care was 45.0% (127 patients), including emergency care required - appropriate operation (47 patients) and no emergency care required - no operation (80 patients).
From this study, the appropriateness of transport by 119 rescuers is 62.6% but if subemergency cases are included, the appropriateness of transport increases to 95.2%. However, the appropriateness of care is only 45.0%, implying a need for continuing training for 119 emergency medical technicians and further organization of the medical control system.
Key words: Appropriateness, Ambulance, Emergency care
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